We’ve already been through Thanksgiving and we are in the final stretch of the holiday season. Toward the beginning of the month I was prepping for 3 events that were scheduled close together and thought I could do a decent job of taking care of myself to get through the events. Well, let me tell you! I didn’t do a very good job and needed to take a few extra days to rest and reset after the fact. I learned a few hard lessons and I wanted to share my insights so you don’t do the same, and if you have already, so you can course correct. Here are eight of the lessons I’ve learned this month after pushing too hard and recovering.
1. Eating Enough Food - Don’t forget to eat! One thing that I neglected to do was bring enough food for myself to eat throughout the day. Usually on event days I don’t eat a lot, but I have snacks for myself just in case. It’s really easy to run on adrenaline and pure energy, but the human really does need food. At the end of the day I felt how empty my body really was. So for you, when you have lots of shopping to do, events to attend, cooking to complete, make sure you are remembering to feed yourself so you have the strength and energy to help those around you.
2. Drinking Enough Water - Did you know our bodies are 70-80% water? So it would make sense that drinking water throughout the day (on any day, but specifically busy days) would be important, right? I know this, many of us know this. But for some reason we don’t do it. At shows, it’s difficult to drink as much water as I’d like because I need to tend to my table/space. When clients sign up for sessions it can be difficult to put time in the schedule for water and potty breaks. Not to mention that during the winter months the air is more dry, so we actually need more water. I tell my clients after their sessions that water will be their friend, so drink up! Again, I was not following my own advice and felt it. But, water is simply important for normal body function. When weather is extreme or when activities change drastically, more is needed for our bodies to be happy with us. If you’re running around in true holiday fashion, think about keeping a water bottle with you to stay hydrated.
3. Getting Enough Sleep - Sometimes it can be hard to sleep when you have a lot on your mind. With my events, I’ve had lots of late brain activity because I’m wondering if I packed everything in the car, or did I print everything for the event, or do I have enough products, or any number of things. I want everything to be as perfect as possible, so the mind goes crazy or I stay up late. Well, that doesn’t help sleep. When we have lots going on, we tend to forego sleep in order to tackle the to-do list. Speaking from years of doing this, and paying for it, it’s not a good idea! It doesn’t help you or anyone around you. Sleep deprivation and its effects are real and we often disregard how important this is. So for you, having a bedtime and keeping it is your goal. Knowing when to start winding down in the evening to give you enough time to make this bedtime is key.
4. Centering & Quieting Your Mind - In the morning I like to meditate for a few minutes. Sometimes if the day is a little crazy I find a few minutes to get quiet and breathe. To center myself and connect to my body. If I don’t do this, I’m usually fine, but there are days where I really need it and haven’t done it. I push despite my body’s signals to pause. When you have really busy days, try to remember to find at least 5 minutes to yourself so you can breathe and have quiet time. Although it doesn’t seem like a lot, it can make a difference in your ability to be present and make sound decisions for yourself or that may impact others. This is similar to sleep.
5. Discernment & Boundaries - I’ve gotten much better at this, but still have my lapses. Are you willing to say yes/no to things and honor your energy? Between shopping, holiday parties, family obligations, and whatever else is going on there comes a time where we have to draw a line. To remember to check in with what our body wants, not what we want to do or what we’re forcing it to do. Whether this is eating, resting, attending an event, having a conversation or anything else, discernment is vital. For the last couple of weeks I wasn’t practicing this and paid for it - day of events and days after. I’m not making myself wrong for it, just acknowledging and course correcting where needed. If you are finding yourself more occupied than normal, ask if these things are really what you want or if they’re additive to your day/energy or whether they’re depleting. Also, you can ask who you’re doing the activity for - yourself or others out of obligations. This can help shorten or prioritize your to-do list.
6. Getting Movement - Getting our blood pumping and body moving are important when we have a lot going on. I’ve found that when I move my body (for as little as 15 min) I feel like I can connect to my body and thoughts easier. I feel like I can process information better and like my body processes work more like they’re supposed to. Many of the same benefits as when I center myself. But, going for a walk or doing a short workout can do wonders for your mental and physical well-being during the holiday season. I hadn’t been doing this and felt the difference. Whether it’s stress, a mile-long to-do list, family, emotions, or something else, movement activates what we need to manage it better.
7. Getting Fresh Air - Getting outside for a few minutes to get direct sunlight and breathe fresh air can serve as a natural pick me up. We all know there are benefits to this, but I know I don’t remember to do this until it’s usually late in the game. If it’s been a long day, sometimes I’ll walk outside even for 30 seconds to feel the cold air just for the exposure to it. My body gets the exposure it needs to the elements and then we’re ready to go. For you, if you’re running around town you’re already outside, but what if you stopped by the park quickly on the way home? Or if you’re at an event, stepping outside to recalibrate and then re-join the crowd. I’ve done this at events, but don’t always remember to, even though I feel better after.
8. Honoring Your Feelings - As I mentioned, I was depleted and felt it. I had a lot going on and wasn’t taking care of myself so my body responded. It got to a point where I had to listen and be honest with how I was feeling. I had to feel the feelings and process them without judgment. I had to change my behavior and honor my body. I had to rest and be okay with not doing as much (or anything at all). With to-do lists and obligations this can be hard, but I’ve learned the importance of being honest with what we’re capable of doing in a given moment and being okay with it.
Now that I’m feeling better I’m even more passionate about helping you get the balance you need during this time of year or any other time for that matter. We all deserve the feelings of balance, calm, and alignment without the stress and judgment that is perceived to come with that. But sometimes we need help making decisions or prioritizing activities to make it happen. If any of this sounds like you, let me know! I’d love to help you get the balance you’re looking for. Send me an email at email@example.com or feel free to set up a time to chat about your challenges and goals by clicking here.